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The association of MST with the eparchy of Kalyan may be traced to the appointment of Fr Thuruthel Sebastian as chaplain of KCA in 1976 and then to the MST mission among Syro-Malabar migrants in the diocese of Pune since 1984. In June 1984, commissioned by SMBC Fr George Kavukatt MST and Fr Lonappan Arangassery MST were sent for the pastoral care of Syro- Malabar migrants in the Diocese of Pune comprising 11 districts of Maharashtra. In the wake of the erection of the eparchy of Kalyan on April 30, 1998, the MST offered generously its members to share the pastoral and missionary responsibilities with the Bishop of Kalyan. The team of MST priests as chaplains was working in the diocese of Pune from 1984.

 

In view of taking up missionary apostolate in the less Christian districts under Kalyan jurisdiction Frs Mathew Moothasseril and John Kudiyiruppil were sent to Miraj to study the possibilities for mission ‘ad gentes’. They organized the Catholics staying in a rented room owned by Mr. Jose Mavely and they ate from the canteen run by Mr. Nainan Thadathil in the Wanless Mission Hospital, Miraj. Frs Moothasseril and Kudiyiruppil conducted a survey of the southern districts of Maharashtra coming under the diocese of Kalyan and in their report to the Bishop of Kalyan and the Director General of MST, Frs. Moothasseril and Kudiyiruppil recommended the Society to take up the civil districts, Sangli, Kolhapur, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg for mission work. Mar Paul Chittilappilly (Bishop of Kalyan) entrusted these districts to the Society through a mutual agreement signed by the Bishop of Kalyan and the Director General of MST Very Rev. Fr. Sebastian Thuruthel on 1st May 1990. Rev. Fr. George Kavukatt was appointed the first Regional Director to represent the Director General of MST in the mission and Episcopal Vicar (Syncellus) of the Eparchy of Kalyan to represent the bishop in the mission. When the four districts were entrusted to MST more priests were ascribed to the region.

 

The Sangli Mission spread over four districts measures 29675 sq. km. The civil districts Sindhudug and Ratnagiri are on the Konkan area where Marathi and Konkani are spoken and the Kolhapur and Sangli where Marathi and Kannada are spoken form part of South Maharashtra (also known as the Deccan area). The first Regional Director functioned from Miraj during his entire term of office from 1990 to 1993 May. During the tenure of Fr Peter Kavumpuram, the Regional House was shifted to Kolhapur first to a rented house in Rajarampuri and later to Sant Thoma Bhavan at Raman Mala.

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